Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., Portland
Wednesday, June 4th, 7:00 pm
Members always Free – Non-members $3.00
Opening Acoustic Set – Justin James Bridges
Second Electric Set – Holfar Blue
For June, we’re bringing a couple of acts that you may not be well aware of, but they’re making their marks around town and we think you’ll enjoy both sets a great deal. Sorry I missed last month while I was working the Blues Music Awards, and Wendy and Jon were both out of town on business, but I heard Merry did a terrific job hosting and J. Lofberg graciously helped out as Terry Currier was also unavailable. Things will be back to normal this time, though Terry will still be missing.
For our first set we will feature Justin James Bridges, a Texas-born guitarist now living in Portland. This past year saw him release three all original albums and two music videos, quite a hefty accomplishment for any musician, but it is the quality, diversity and originality that truly make his material special. Bridges has recently returned from a multi-month tour that took him to his native Texas and into California. An activist for legalization of marijuana, the tour titled the Cannabis Common Sense Tour found him performing at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip and at two separate High Times Cannabis Cups. He is also a regularly featured performer at Portland’s World Famous Cannabis Café.
Fun and soulful are probably the best descriptions of Justin James Bridges’ sound. While all of his music has a blues/funk/roots base, he layers, blends and bends various genres in a creative, original way. Plenty of something for everyone, do not miss your chance to catch Justin James Bridges’ set.
Our second set of the night will bring Holfar Blue to our members. The band has been playing the area since 2011 and quickly gained a loyal following for their eclectic mix of original songs, blending elements of blues, jazz and rock, as well as artful covers of classic blues and rock rarities. The band released their first full-length CD, Blue Suede Cadillac, in 2012 and followed that up with a four-song EP, You Need Truth, in 2013.
The band features guitarist Michael Houlberg, who began his musical journey playing in San Diego and Los Angeles before relocating to Portland. He writes the band’s songs from his own personal experiences, drawing on his observations of others and his imagination, often placing himself as the main character in his songs. “I don’t play “authentic” blues, even though I’ve schooled myself on it and enjoy it greatly,” Michael states. “It just doesn’t feel authentic to me. Muddy Waters can sing “I’m going down to Louisiana”, but I’ve never been there. ”
Also in the band are original member David Farrell, a classically trained keyboardist with a deep love for the blues and rock music. Former Portland surf band The Verbtones’ bassist Mike Tatro, and Brian Parks who comes from a long line of drummers in his family.
Get set for a fun-filled performance featuring music in a style that is based deeply in the blues, but also reflects their love for rock, R&B, jazz and Motown music.
In between sets we will do our free ticket drawing for everybody to have the chance to win CDs and concert tickets, while letting you know what will be going on in the area during the month. We will also have our multi-CD package tickets for sale and will draw the winning number midway into the second set.
As a heads up, make sure to mark your calendars for the July meeting that will take place the second Wednesday of the month because of the Waterfront Blues Festival happening the week before. That’s Wednesday, July 9th, still happening at The Melody Ballroom at the regular time. Don’t miss out!